Sometimes you find great things you didn’t expected. That’s exactly the case with the indie drama Blue Bayou. As I searched for actor Alica Vikander (Ex-Machina, Tomb Raider) I found an unknown movie back in 2021. The main topic of the movie is about the immigrant politics in the United States. It‘s a shocking, emotional family drama with many twists produced and directed by Justin Chon.
It‘s a shame that nowadays these kind of movies nearly disappears. The reason for that isn‘t that these movies doesn‘t exists, it‘s more about finding. Back in the time of cinema, a few of them only pick indie productions. Today it‘s hard to find these type of cinemas because of all the streaming services and the preferred higher production movies. Nevertheless it‘s good to see that these movies still exists. „Blue Bayou“ was produced and directed by US actor and filmmaker Justin Chon. Chon previously produced two other movies Gook (2017) and Ms. Purple (2019) but is still more unknown.
In „Blue Bayou“ Chon plays one of the main acts Antonio LeBlanc. Antonio was adopted by an US family and grows-up in the small town of Louisiana. The beginning the movie describes the intimate relationship with his pregnant girlfriend Kathy played by Alicia Vikander and her stepdaughter Jessie played by Sydney Kowalske. The releationship between Antonio and Jessie isn‘t that easy because of the future baby and the fear of Jessie to loose interest. It‘s that one scene from the trailer that symbolized it perfectly. As Jessie was ready for the school in the morning, Antonio asks her if she was sure about her outfit, because she wear a Flash outfit / costume. It‘s a charming eye candy moment.
Shortly thereafter the close family life was hardly proven. As the family goes shopping in a supermarket they met two police officers. One of them is the father (Kamal) of Jessie. Because of Kathy‘s bad feelings about Kamal she doesn‘t want a closer releationship between these two. The situation escalates as the second police officer and Antonio join the conversation. A fight ensues and Antonio was arrested. It‘s starting point of bad things. The event leads to some checkings from the immigrant office and the past of Antonio.
In these drastic moments the movie shines by his simplicity. The filming was recorded on a raw 16mm tape. This leads to an intense connection to the cast, because of the realistic scenery. In some hectic moments the camera bounces up and down to underline a dramatic scene. In general sound and picture fits together. Just the flashbacks of Antonios past are great implemented.
In Blue Bayou the characters are the most important element of the movie. Each of them with there own background and past. The main plot is about the threatening deportation of Antonio but there is much more to identify in this movie. It‘s about feelings within family, it‘s about life and death, it’s about future and past and injustice. Things you can‘t change. Blue Bayou it‘s beautiful, sad and dramatic at the same time. It‘s an heartbreaking small independent movie that shines with all that intense moments.